Preparation for NJ Tuna Fishing
New Jersey is historically known for having one of the best tuna fisheries on the east coast. During the summer and fall months the Canyon’s on the Continental Shelf off of the New Jersey coast can become loaded with hungry Tuna. The Tuna find themselves in this area by following the bait that travels with the Gulf Stream waters as it pushes up the coast each year. Once the waters have moved in, it is time to go fishing. Often times large quantities of school sized yellow fin are caught when the foremost edges of the gulfstream start to make their way into our waters. When the leading edges of the Gulf Stream begin to overlap the edge of our continental shelf it is time to go fishing.
We begin each season and trip by looking at a detailed satellite image that shows the current surface temperatures and currents. Often times these simple yet effective ways of tracking down fish are over looked. Tuna like to stay and travel in the Gulf Stream waters because of the rich environment that it provides. The Clear blue water and oxygen rich up wellings provide the perfect habitat for them. We prefer to use the images provided by Offshore Satellite Service because of their detail and turbidity charts that they offer. Also when looking at these charts it is important to compare the current satellite shot with ones from the past. This will enable us to see how far the eddy has moved during that time span, and allow us to predict where it should be when we arrive on the grounds.
The next step in preparing for a run to the Canyon’s off of NJ is to pack out the boat with all of the proper gear and ice necessary to bring home a load of fresh Tuna. This includes preparing our 10 rods and reels that we will use for that trip, as well as two spare setups, should anything happen to one of the original ones. Our Rods are 5’ 5’’ long, with Winthrop wind-on guides and Aftco butts, which will help put a hurting on any fish, but when you are preparing to do battle with a 200 lb fish you, want to have the best winch possible. All of our Canyon 50’s are meticulously maintained and gone over after and before every trip to make sure that they are in proper working order. Each spool is lined with 500 yards of 130# JB hollow core line and top shotted with 300 yards of 100 lb monofilament. The 800 yards of fighting line is a definite security blanket, so when that mega fish does hit and nearly empties your spool, you can feel confident that we have the proper amount of line on the reel and will not get dumped. The next step will be to load the boat up with 800 lbs of ice so you can be sure that your catch will remain extremely fresh and extremely cold the entire time we are out.
Another extremely critical step in preparing for a run to the Canyons is to give our engine room and main equipment a thorough examination. This examination is done immediately after every return trip and before every departure. It is imperative that our gear is in top condition when we are offshore. When you return to the dock from a trip, we check engine oil, and coolant levels, look over the engine for any nut, bolt, or anything that might have vibrated out, sheared off or anything else that might have happened. We make knowing our equipment like the back of our hand an extremely high priority. If there is a problem with anything it is much, much easier to fix it at the dock, vs finding out that we have a leaking hose in 6ft sea's.
After our final inspection of the vessel has concluded and we are getting close to heading out, it is time to give the customers a call and let them know that we are all set to go and we are expecting them at any time. We like to give our customers a call a couple hours before we are leaving to give them the latest up dates on sea condition’s and give them a clearer picture for what they should expect on the water. A lot of our customers are not accustomed to fishing offshore, so we take it upon our selves to prepare them as best as we can. People can become extremely uncomfortable if we all of the sudden run into a squall and they witness sea’s like they have never seen. However the truth of the matter is that running into this kind of weather is all part of fishing in the Canyons, our crew is train and knows how to handle adverse sea conditions, so you can rest easy and enjoy your trip.
Once our customers arrive, we stow their gear appropriately, give a thorough and clear explanation of safety equipment and procedures, and then go over catch methods and what they would particularly like to accomplish. After all the chit chat be start the engines and begin chasing Tuna on the Continental shelf.